- 235 new COVID-19 cases in India today
- Much of the spike has come from a religious event in Delhi
- Centre has asked states to jail people who violate the lockdown
Here are the top 10 developments in this big story:
"It is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends," Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Chief Ministers on Thursday, according to a statement giving details of the interaction. He has asked the states to send their suggestions on the issue.
The Prime Minister also tweeted that he would share a video message on Friday morning, which many believe would be linked to the coronavirus outbreak. "At 9 AM tomorrow morning, I'll share a small video message with my fellow Indians," his tweet read.
Those violating the coronavirus lockdown or obstructing officials should be sent to jail for one or two years, the government has told state governments, after videos emerged from some parts of the country showing health workers being targeted by mobs.
Healthcare workers and civic officials were attacked by a mob in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on Wednesday as they tried to screen residents for COVID-19. Two women doctors were injured in the attack, for which seven persons have been arrested.
The Centre has now underscored that obstructing doctors, health workers or government staff can land the offender in jail for a year. In case it leads to anyone's death, the jail term could be for two years.
A resident doctor from Delhi's prestigious AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday. He is the seventh Delhi doctor to contract the highly contagious virus. Two of the infected doctors work at the Safdarjung Hospital, which is located directly opposite AIIMS.
A second coronavirus case was detected in Mumbai's Dharavi in less than 24 hours, triggering worries of a rapid spread in what's known as Asia's largest slum, home to nearly a million people. On Wednesday, a 56-year-old man who tested positive for the virus died. He had no travel history.
A countrywide lookout, started has been on after several people who attended a religious event in Delhi held last month turned out positive, is continuing. The Nizamuddin Markaz -- where the event was held by by religious group Tablighi Jamaat despite the government's message of social distancing -- has been identified as a virus hotspot.
So far, more than 550 people with links to the gathering have been found COVID-19 positive. In Delhi, 141 new cases were detected, taking up the total number of COVID-positive people to 293.
The Indian Council for Medical Research, the government's nodal body for virus tests, has recommended that every resident in a coronavirus hotspot be tested with a fast-track Rapid Antibody test. Antibody tests are similar to blood tests. The results are available in 15-30 minutes.